July 19 - Newly-formed Moss Hydro has been established to address a ballast water challenge that is threatening the entire shipping industry, writes Adam Flensborg Safikhany.

Stein Foss, the former ceo and co-founder of ballast water treatment (BWT) business OceanSaver, has set up the independent company with three partners, and an array of engineering, marketing and manufacturing experts. Together they are creating filters designed specifically for ballast water treatment.

The filters, which will be manufactured in Norway, have been created for self-cleaning and minimal maintenance. Crafted from super-duplex stainless steel, they are corrosion free and 50-70 percent lighter than conventional filters.

International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandates that all vessels must have BWT systems installed by 2016. However, the emerging BWT system market faces challenges of supply - there are very few filter manufacturers - and technology, with some existing filters prone to blockages from ocean sediment and other organics. And if the filter blocks, the BWT system stops so does the ship.

Stein Foss said: "We have entered into an agreement with a manufacturing facility created especially for our production needs. It is a state-of-the-art facility of 20,000 sq m, employing 200 people and boasting huge capacity. This gives us an extremely short turnaround time for orders - a crucial point of difference as the approaching IMO regulations threaten huge supplier bottlenecks in the BWT sector."

Moss Hydro will begin taking initial orders for its single and multi-screen filters (prototypes have been tested up to a capacity of 3,200 cu m/hr) in September, with production commencing in Q4 2012.